Weather nixes second launch attempt of Atlas V with NROL-52
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — United Launch Alliance tried once again to launch a classified mission on behalf of the National Reconnaissance Office. However, the NROL-52 mission is still on the pad at Space Launch Complex 41. The culprit was the same as the previous morning’s scrub – the turbulent Florida weather.
As 4:03 a.m. EDT (8:03 GMT) Oct. 6, 2017, came and went, it was announced that two of the rules guiding launch weather had been violated and a new T-0 of 4:13 a.m. was set. However, that new opening also passed without the rocket lifting off the pad and the launch was pushed back to 4:23 a.m., then 4:28 a.m., and finally to 4:31 a.m.
This continued on throughout the morning with the weather constantly interfering with efforts to get the mission underway. ULA was able to proceed out of the planned T-minus 4 minutes hold – only to have another weather hold called at T-minus 97 seconds. The launch team finally called a scrub at around 4:34 a.m. EDT.
Additionally, earlier in the day SpaceX opted to postpone the launch of the SES-11/EchoStar-105 mission until no-earlier-than Wednesday, Oct. 11. Although it has not been specifically stated, the weather is viewed as being one of the primary reasons behind the delay.
Jason Rhian spent several years honing his skills with internships at NASA, the National Space Society and other organizations. He has provided content for outlets such as: Aviation Week & Space Technology, Space.com, The Mars Society and Universe Today.